This year the Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading competition for violinists under the age of 22, founded by the late violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1983, was held in Austin between February 21 and March 2. Of the 42 participants, three alumni from the Pre-College division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) made it to the finals. One of them emerged as the First Prize winner in the Senior Division (for competitors aged sixteen or above).
That winner is seventeen-year-old Stephen Waarts, who spend five years at SFCM studying with Li Lin. Waarts had won the Second Prize in the Junior Division in 2010. He is now at the Curtis Institute of Music studying under Aaron Rosand. Fourth prize in that same competition was won by fellow SFCM alumnus Stephen Kim, who studied with Bettina Mussumeli and is also currently at Curtis. Alina Ming Kobialka also competed in the senior division. She also studied with Lin, as well as Wei He, and is currently attending The Colburn School.
In the Junior Division current Pre-College student Alex Zhou took fourth place in the finals. He was the youngest of the Junior competitors to have made it to the finals. He is currently studying with Zhao Wei.